Call of Duty World Championship 2018 Recap
Days 1-3 Recap
Wow, where do I begin? Heading into Friday, where the championship really kicked off, this year’s group stage for the last tournament of the year looked to be a doozy. Day 1 started off with a lot of consistent results we have seen across the Call of Duty World League, but, with a few minor curveballs.
In the first match of the long and grueling tournament, we had Lightning Panda’s, a team who had come into the tournament just barely making it through the online qualifiers. Surely, many analysts had doubted them, but boy did they bring the fire in Game 1 where they took down the Stage Two champions, Team Kaliber, in a close, and hard, fight, ending in a Lightning Panda’s victory 3-2. Team Sween, like Lightning Panda’s, had entered through the qualifiers, and they took down the once renowned kings of Europe Splyce in a quick 3-1 fashion. Woah, Ken two amateur teams were able to take down some of the best Call of Duty has to offer, just wait a goddamn second…
Day 2 happened, and the Call of Duty competitive scene is flipped on its head. The reigning champs, Optic Gaming, headed into Day 2 with Supremacy and Evil Geniuses on the schedule. Quickly Optic dispatches Supremacy with a hot 3-0, and they now sit atop of Group H going into their second match of the day. Well wouldn’t ya know, it Optic Gaming sits at 2-0 in their group and is now facing elimination from the tournament due to a three-way tie with Elevate and Evil Geniuses. Evil Geniuses, who is sitting at 1-1 in the group stage, needs a 3-0 win to move on into bracket play and Optic Gaming only needs to win ONE MAP. Well, you know where this is going…. Optic Gaming loses 3-0 to Evil Geniuses and, with that, were eliminated from the competition before they could even make it to the big stage at Nationwide Arena. To majority of fans’ dismay. the reigning Call of Duty Champions Optic Gaming are out before Friday. With this elimination, it is the first time since Modern Warfare 2 that Optic has not won a championship in the life span of a Call of Duty game. Optic fans, or as they are also known as the Greenwall, has had a rough year of Call of Duty from the competitive team and this just marked the cherry right on top of it all.
If you thought the highlight of the tournament was Optic taking home a top 24 finish, then you’re wrong. What follows on Day 3 is just as juicy.
If you’re not a follower of Call of Duty eSports, let it be known that this bracket is heavily favored one side. The left side of this bracket is not some of the greatest talent in the game. But, I guess I am here, in a hotel room writing a recap, and they are on stage winning thousands of dollars. I digress Winners Round 1 matchups included the likes of some fantastic Call of Duty, we got a rematch of the Stage Two Grand Finals in Rise Nation taking on Team Kaliber, we got EUnited playing the hot team out of Europe Red Reserve, and the cherry on top we got Doug ”Censor” Martin the man who dumped this dumped YANET GARCIA the hottest weather girl in America, I’ll let you the readers confirm on your own time.
Back to Call of Duty. Team Kaliber was able to dispatch Rise Nation in a quick 3-1 fashion, sending Rise down to the loser’s bracket early. EUnited starts the day off with a quick 3-0 over Red Reserve, also sending them down to the Loser’s Bracket. And if you thought there wasn’t enough talent down in the elimination games, well Luminosity also got upset by the newly formed Elevate team, who stars Michael “Spacely” Schmale, who was coaching Luminosity up until his Champs run started in the Last Chance Qualifiers. To finish off the night we got some heaters in the Loser’s Round 1, Faze Clan went up against Team Sween and beat them handedly 3-1.
The Match of The Night
Luminosity Gaming, a team who had struggled to make it to the Stage 2 Playoffs, and Rise Nation, the Three-Time Champions this year, featured fast relentless gameplay. Rise Nation stepped on the gas and quickly took the first two maps of the series pushing them into a match point scenario. Behind the stellar gameplay from Jordan “Jkap” Kaplan, Luminosity was able to take a pivotal Capture the Flag Map 3. With Jkap going 22-15, Luminosity was able to defeat Rise Nation by a score of 2-0. Moving into Hardpoint Map 4, there was a shift in momentum for the boys in Blue in Luminosity. After the first rotations of Hardpoints, Luminosity was holding onto about a 70-point lead, quickly Rise Nation was able to close that gap, but never taking that all but crucial victory, and with that Luminosity continued their quest for that crucial reverse sweep. Formal played a very important role in Luminosity’s map 4 victory going 39-25, and as many of his recent tweets have suggested he certainly was “Beaming”. Going into the final map of the series, Johnathon “John” Perez, with the sniper rifle, was able to continuously open with First Bloods and put his team at a man advantage. Luminosity jumped out to an early lead, when Josiah “Slacked” Berry put the nail in the coffin with this brilliant 1v2 clutch in the 9th round.
With the early parts of the bracket over, the top organizations in Call of Duty that survived days 1-3 surely did not disappoint. Luminosity and Faze Clan managed to dispatch any team in their way throughout the Lower Bracket, proving that they still had some fight left in them. Luminosity barreled through the likes of Lightning Pandas and Red Reserve to finish off their Day 4, putting themselves in an excellent position to continue their run far into Championship Sunday. Faze Clan, like Luminosity, made quick work of Unilad and Elevate, sending them packing and pushing Faze Clan into what would be the greatest Lower Bracket of Call of Duty history. The big matches of the night happened over on the Main Stage where both Winner’s Bracket Semi-Finals did not fail to bring the energy. First up we had Evil Geniuses going up against their first true test in Team Envyus. Team Envyus started off the series with two quick map wins over the veterans in Evil Geniuses. After the Map 2 Search and Destroy, Patrick “Aches” Price rallied his troops and pulled off an incredible reverse sweep against the likes of Team Envyus. It was one moment that solidified the comeback: it was the final moments of the Map 5 Search and Destory Round 10 heroics from Captain Patrick “Aches” Price. Aches truly provided the young up and comer Cuyley “Huke” Garland with a true teaching moment.
Following this incredible reverse sweep from Evil Geniuses over Team Envyus the crowd favorite in EUnited took the stage to take on the most recent tournament winners, Team Kaliber. With the crowd on their side, James “Clayster” Eubanks looked to continue his champs quest against the young roster of Team Kaliber. Despite this dramatic backdrop of the crowd roaring at every EUnited kill, the team was not able to bring home the win, and Team Kaliber calmly dispatched Clayster and EUnited, sending them to the Lower Bracket where a hungry Team Luminosity awaited. One moment that captured every eye in the arena was Clayster’s 1v1 clutch to even the series up at 1.
On Championship Sunday there was a packed house starting early when the crowd favorites EUnited went up against former Optic player, Matthew “Formal” Piper, and Team Luminosity. Clayster, who is known for feeding off the crowds energy, proved to perform at his best when the crowd rallied behind the team after their slow start on Sunday.
The final day of the Call of Duty World War II competitive season has come and gone and Evil Geniuses are your champions. In one of the greatest underdog stories of the year, the team that no one saw winning the championship this year has done it. A team that was one map away from even making it to Nationwide Arena (thanks to Optic Gaming) has been crowned the champions of the latest iteration of Call of Duty from Sledgehammer Games. In an epic double best-of-five map, series Evil Geniuses took down Team Kaliber in epic 3-0 fashion in the second best-of-five series. Adam “Assault” Garcia finished the tournament with a 1.34 K/D ratio (I once had a 1.6 k/d in Black Ops 3) was given the title of Most Valuable Player at the championship ceremony. Assault played a crucial role in the Winner’s Final matchup against Team Kaliber and then again when the two teams matched up in the Grand Finals.
A 12 hour road trip across the country proved to be well worth it, a jam packed weekend of Call of Duty is exactly what the doctor ordered (thanks Bob). The venue was outstanding in every aspect, the MLG production team really outdid themselves this year. The main stage was masterfully put together with incredible screens that perfectly captured all of the weekends best moments from every seat in the crowd. The crowd… everyone was loud, the crowd favorites in EUnited got a beautiful send off after their defeat against Faze Clan in Losers Round 5, despite the early exit of Optic Gaming, I’ll give major props to the Greenwall who showed up despite their team’s early exit and their enthusiasm to appreciate the competitive scene of Call of Duty. Congrats to Evil geniuses who sent this year of competitive Call of Duty off with a true underdog story, and if you’ve made it this far in the article, thank you, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Below I’ll link some of the best series of the weekend!
-Intern Ken AKA Kung Fu Ken